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October 6, 2015

Jeff Zucker

Katie Couric Expected to Sign ABC Talk Show Deal Monday

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 6th 2011 7:00AM
Katie CouricKatie Couric's contract with CBS expires today, and she's widely expected to announce that she's signing a deal with ABC to host a syndicated daytime talk show.

'The New York Times' reports that both NBC and CBS held unsuccessful talks with Couric, who remains a hot property despite disappointing ratings during her tenure at 'The CBS Evening News.'

Rumors that she was close to a deal with ABC have been swirling for weeks, and according to the 'Times' the clincher was when ABC President Anne Sweeney sweetened the deal with the promise of a role in the news division.

For her part, Couric says she is happy with the end result of the protracted negotiations: "It is very gratifying that so many people were willing to meet with me and were interested," she said. "It made me think maybe a show like this could do reasonably well. We'll see."

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Katie Couric Close to Signing ABC Talk Show Deal

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 20th 2011 9:30AM
Katie CouricEver since Katie Couric announced she was stepping down from 'The CBS Evening News' there's been constant speculation as to what she'll do next.

The most persistent rumor has linked her with ABC and that network's plans to fill the Oprah-sized hole in their daytime lineup. Now, it seems as though Couric will indeed be getting her own daytime talk show.

Even though she signed off from 'Evening News' last night, Couric's still under contract with CBS until June 6, so no official announcement about her future is expected for another few days. However, 'The Los Angeles Times' says she's close to signing a deal to launch a new ABC syndicated talk show in the fall of 2012. And, that it may reunite Couric with her former 'Today' colleague, Matt Lauer.

The 'Times' says that while much of the deal has been has been hammered out, there are still outstanding "issues" surrounding compensation. Couric landed a record-breaking $15-million payday when she signed with CBS.

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The Top 10 TV Jerks of 2010: The Archie Bunker Awards

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 17th 2010 4:00PM
Archie BunkerBack in the glory days of television (when there was no cable), the idea of having a unlikeable person on a show was anathema to the networks.

Sure, there were silly or angry characters (Ralph Kramden comes to mind), but protagonists weren't actually mean or spiteful (except when the plot called for it and usually only for an episode). But after the breakthrough of 'All in the Family' and the character of Archie Bunker, jerks began to fill the television landscape, both on camera and behind the scenes.

This year saw quite a few of these boors. See which 10 stars earned themselves an "Archie Bunker award" as one of the biggest TV a**holes of 2010.

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Jeff Zucker's Reign of Terribleness Finally Over at NBC

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 24th 2010 1:30PM
Jeff ZuckerJeff Zucker, the NBC Universal chief who will leave as soon as Comcast officially takes over, is forever capable of infuriating anyone who knows anything about TV.

The twin hallmarks of Zucker's reign at NBC were breathtaking arrogance coupled with an inability to pick, support or otherwise promote quality television.

Arrogance and general cluelessnes are not exactly in short supply at television networks. But Zucker's particularly brazen combination of those qualities were designed to produce aneurysms in anyone who watched NBC's shocking decline during the past decade or so.

You see, according to Zucker, none of the disasters that ever befell NBC were his fault. Outside factors were always to blame: The changing nature of the broadcast television industry, the fickleness of the viewing public, the evolving business model. Also, the sun got in his eyes and the dog ate his homework.

His exit interview with the New York Times was perfectly Zuckerian. His biggest regret was "not moving quickly enough" to fix NBC Entertainment.

And who was responsible for screwing up NBC Entertainment in the first place? Who took it from No. 1 to pathetic, struggling also-ran? Jeff Zucker! Does Zucker acknowledge this? No, of course not!

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Jeff Zucker Leaves NBC Universal

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 24th 2010 11:45AM
Jeff ZuckerNBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker announced this morning in an email to employees that he is stepping down once the Comcast takeover of NBC is complete, The New York Times reports.

Zucker said in an interview with the Times that he realized, through the course of the Comcast acquisition, that his departure would be inevitable. After a meeting with Comcast COO Steve Burke, Zucker knew that there would not be a place for him at the company anymore. "We had both gotten to the same place," Zucker said. "He made it clear that they wanted to move on at the close of the deal and I was completely comfortable with that."

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Jeff Zucker to Leave NBC?

by Scott Harris, posted Jun 2nd 2010 2:40PM
According to The New York Post, NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker has reached an agreement to step down and leave the network once Comcast completes its acquisition of NBC from current parent company General Electric.

Zucker, who began at NBC as a low level research assistant back in 1986 and worked his way up through the ranks, became CEO back in 2007 and recently had his contract extended by GE and Comcast, who announced that Zucker would continue in his position until 2013 in order to oversee the transition. However, while Comcast still denies this latest batch of rumors, sources close to Zucker insist that he has agreed to a buyout and will be departing just "a couple months' after the sale is finalized.

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NBC is Spending Money on TV Shows Again!

by Bob Sassone, posted May 3rd 2010 11:28AM
NBC logoNBC has just realized something: you have to spend money if you want good TV shows.

OK, maybe "realized" isn't the best word to use. More like "remembered." NBC chairman Jeff Gaspin tells The New York Times that the network is changing its strategy and will pay to get some good shows on the network.

For starters, they've ordered almost 20 new pilots this season -- scripted dramas and comedies -- up from ten last season. Instead of strictly going by the numbers and looking for a big profit margin and trying to cut costs in every way possible, they're looking for good shows they can stick with.

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Fox Gives Reilly Three More Years

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 27th 2010 10:35AM
kevin_reilly_fox_TVLast spring, Fox TV did something pretty radical. It decided to air the first episode of a new fall series in May. That was a long lead time for a series, but Fox was confident in the new program. The show was called 'Glee' and the success of that preview coupled with the breakout status when it officially re-premiered in September made Fox's year.

And the guy who gets credit for that and now a new three-year extension is entertainment chief Kevin Reilly. Here's an executive who was dumped by NBC -- great move, Jeff Zucker -- and has done really well at Fox. It's not only 'Glee,' but that's the most flashy, current ratings and pop culture hit.

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Jeff Zucker Testifies About NBC, Comcast Merger, Has To Defend Programming

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 28th 2010 5:30PM
Jeff ZuckerI wonder if Jeff Zucker knew that when he testified before Congress this past week about the merger between NBC and Comcast he would be talking about Tyler Perry.

But that's what happened this past week when Rep. Maxine Waters asked Zucker, "Is there some assumption that black programming is not profitable?" This is probably a question that Zucker wasn't expecting, and I'm not sure if he answered it in the best way that he could. He said that NBC has a great history of black shows on the network, and when Representative Steve Cohen mentioned that Al Roker is on 'Today' (to defend Zucker, I guess), Zucker mentioned that NBC also has Lester Holt.

Zucker was probably in an odd position, having to defend his network's diversity by actually pointing out specific people one by one (you never win when you do that), and I'm not quite sure what Waters' point has to do with the NBC/Comcast decision. Does Waters just think this about NBC or would she confront CBS and ABC about their programming, too? Waters also asked Comcast execs why they didn't have more people of color or women on their board.

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'The Late Shift 2': Who Should Play Whom?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 15th 2010 11:06AM
News that New York Times reporter Bill Carter is working on a pseudo-sequel to his groundbreaking book The Late Shift' made a smile creep across my face. I haven't yet read the book, but the buzz it caused and the weird stories that came out of it just by word of mouth gave it an aura of mysterious wonder that made the television industry infinitely more fascinating than it already was.

It also spawned a pretty decent made-for-TV HBO movie. Now I don't know what kind of craziness "Round Two" has to offer, but the players involved are definitely going to have all sorts of wild secrets revealed from Carter's work and when it does, HBO is going to want the movie rights. So here's who should play who in this new tragic merry-go-round of television programming hilarity that shall be called 'The Late Shift 2'.

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NBC News Chief Defends Jeff Zucker

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 3rd 2010 8:08PM
Steve Capus, president of NBC NewsIt's no secret that Jeff Zucker is the most hated man in broadcasting. That is, if you don't work for NBC or GE. While Zucker has spent his time overseeing NBC and NBC Universal tinkering and experimenting the broadcast network into a fourth-place laughingstock, there is a reason why he continues to remain at the company and get more and more responsibility: the man makes GE money.

While the NBC broadcast network hemorrhages cash, NBCU's cable consortium makes money in buckets. Even in the NBC microcosm, NBC News is making money with 'Today' and the 'NBC Nightly News' while the entertainment and sports divisions aren't doing well. Which is why it's not surprising that news president Steve Capus defended his boss to Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com.

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Rosie O'Donnell on 'Glee,' 'Family,' Team Coco and Love

by Michael Maloney, posted Jan 26th 2010 9:30AM
Rosie O'Donnell may not be voicing her opinions on 'The View' anymore, but she's still letting America know how she feels.

The outspoken and philanthropic Daytime Emmy-winner's next project is the HBO special 'A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O'Donnell Celebration,' set to air Sunday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. The documentary's goal is to heighten America's understanding of nontraditional families.

AOL was on the scene at the recent TV Critics Association's winter press tour when O'Donnell shared her thoughts on her HBO show, the pros and cons of TV versus radio and possibly guest-starring on 'Glee.'

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Five reasons why Jay Leno should be Conan O'Brien's final Tonight Show guest

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 20th 2010 9:00AM

The Tonight Show
has a handsome list of throwback guests, Will Ferrell and Tom Hanks who were the first and second guests when Conan O'Brien took over, on what is presumed to be his last show this Friday. Seriously, they still haven't resolved this thing. Say what you will about the dunderheads-in-chief at NBC, but at least they are consistent at failing.

And while it is nice to remind the audience and the network of the heavy hitters that Conan will have in his corner when he bids his former employer farewell, I'd like to see him take it one step further. Conan O'Brien should have Jay Leno (yes THAT Jay Leno, is there another?) as his final guest.

Sure, it sounds like a bigger pipe dream than mounting a Van Halen reunion tour with the undead corpse of Jimi Hendrix as the opening act, but here's five reasons why it would not only make sense for another small chapter of The Tonight Show dynasty, but for the television dynasty as a whole.

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What You Missed Last Night: Jeff Zucker on Charlie Rose

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 19th 2010 1:30PM
Jeff Zucker
We've heard from Jay Leno, we've heard from Conan O'Brien, we've heard from Dick Ebersol, and we've even heard from Southland's Ben McKenzie. But what about the guy who started all this, Jeff Zucker? He gave an interview to Charlie Rose last night and it's up at Rose's site (I'd embed it here but...I can't).

I love how Rose starts the conversation by saying that things have gone "downhill" for NBC and that it's "in shambles." Zucker quickly corrects him.

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How NBC Can Completely Destroy Itself

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 15th 2010 6:00PM
NBC is already doing a pretty good job of destroying itself, from its failure to develop new hit shows to the extraordinary bad will it's generated through the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien fiasco. (indeed, whether you're on Team Jay or Team Coco, we all agree that NBC has screwed our guy over.)

Still, the fourth-place network is hanging in there, so clearly, there's a lot left to do if NBC is really going to destroy itself. While it's hard to come up with ideas that are even more smack-your-forehead stupid than the ones coming out of the NBC executive suites, we do have some suggestions.

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